Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 103–110 | Cite as

An experimental study on the effects of the steel scalpel, electrocautery and various lasers on oral tissue

  • Jyri Hukki
  • Maaret Castren
  • Stig Nordling
  • Tom Schröder


The tissue effects of the steel scalpel, electrocautery, CO2 laser and contact Nd-YAG laser were studied on rat tongue. The tip of the tongue (3 mm) was cut off and fixed for histology. The rats (6-10/method/age group) were kept alive for 2, 7 and 14 days, when the remaining tongue was resected. In each postoperative age group the effects to the epithelium and muscular layer were determined separately. Peroperative bleeding was measured and attention was paid to wound contraction and inflammatory cell infiltration.

Postoperative bleeding occurred with the steel scalpel and electrocautery, but not with the lasers. A significant delay in early re-epithelialization was observed after the use of all thermal knives. Resection with steel scalpel was found to result in the smallest damage to the tissues on day 0 (P< 0.01), whereas on day 7 no significant differences were observed between scalpel, electrocautery and CO2 laser. On the other hand there was a significant difference between scalpel and contact Nd-YAG laser (P< 0.05). On day 14 these differences were no longer significant.

Wound contraction on days 7 and 14 was evident after scalpel incision and slight after thermal knives.

The steel scalpel causes less tissue damage than the thermal knives, whereas the advantages of a bloodless operation can be achieved with both lasers used in this study.

Key words

Lasers Electrocautery Oral surgery Tissue effects 


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Copyright information

© Baillière Tindall 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jyri Hukki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maaret Castren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stig Nordling
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tom Schröder
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Second Department of SurgeryDivision of Plastic Surgery, Töölö HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of PathologyHelsinki University Central HospitalHelsinkiFinland

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